What is Madware?
Madware? I thought it was something mad-cool you wore out on a date. That’s so not the case. Madeware is advertising that’s pushed to your Android mobile device that can range from mildly annoying to downright intrusive.
That’s because madware, which is generally loaded along with that free app you just added, is a great way for the developers to make money. And I don’t blame them for monetizing, but where it crosses the line into intrusive is when the app loads shortcut icons onto your Android or worse, data mines and shares that data back with the creator.
There’s also the issue of madware and children. Inappropriate ads may be prominent on the free app your child is playing – that’s not cool.
What’s interesting is that some of the most popular free apps are some of the worst offenders. The very popular Brightest Flashlight Free app lets you see in the dark, but the app also send you alerts for dating sites. Explain that to your husband!
Another popular download is Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space. The duo from Rovio are both in the top 10 madware offenders. These are popular games for kids, tweens, and teens and they’re bombarded with ads.
What can I do about madware?
Luckily there is a solution. Norton Spot is an app solution that detects ads and scans advertising networks. It’s a free download and it’s available for Android devices via the Google Play app store. Norton Spot sniffs out the apps that take advantage of your information and removes them. But you can be proactive as well. If you suspect an app is asking for permissions that seem fishy, do an online search to see if others have had the same concerns, or if the app has been associated with madware.
Downloading the Norton Spot app is easy and once completed, it will scan your mobile device and notify you of any possible issues. You decide if you’d like the item removed or left as it is. It’s very easy to use and understand and completed the scan in just a few minutes. Since I don’t have a lot of apps on my phone, it only found a few issues. My son will be downloading it soon to his. Since he’s a gamer and has tons of apps, I suspect he’ll find many more issues on his phone than I did on mine.
Always read the fine print when you’re downloading any app. Make sure you understand exactly what parts of your phone the app will have access to. You can also visit the Norton MobileSecurity.com site to learn about the latest developments and resources in mobile security.
Resources on MobileSecurity.com:
- Making Madware a Choice for Everyone
- Madware: This Time It’s Personal
- The State of Madware
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Norton. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.